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Statistics not as rosy as they seem: exports dropping in value

"Colombian hydrangea growers should look for new markets"

The Colombian hydrangea sector has had a good 2017, with exports reaching a value of 74,748,113 USD, increase of 2.8 percent compared to the year before. It looks quite promising for 2018, but when taking a closer look at the export figures published by Asocolflores, a less positive development can be noticed; the value of the hydrangea exports (hydrangea prices) is dropping. The main reason seems to be the growing hydrangea acreage and therefore the increasing number of stems on the market. This is explained by Catalina Arango of Flores Del Este. 

Why 2017 was a good year then?
2017 was a good year with an increase in export value of hydrangeas compared to 2016. How are the figures shown indicate that the export value is decreasing? "The main reason for the increase in 2017 was the strengthening of the USD against the Colombian peso", explains Arango. "When comparing the volume and value of the hydrangeas exported, one can see that the increase in volume is higher than the increase value, over 5 percent higher." It is a trend that is developing for several years now. "In 2015, the hydrangea acreage was 861.47ha, in 2016 971.58 ha, in 2017 1,250ha and in 2018 1,476ha (predicted). All in all, this is an increase of over 70 percent in just three years. Luckily, the value of the USD against the peso skyrocketed and remained high in the same period, which makes the drop in value less evident." 

Decrease value evident
Now, however, when comparing the January and February 2018 statistics with the first two months of 2017, one can clearly see the difference. From all other crops grown in Colombia, the hydrangeas is the only crop of which the exports decreased (-0.5%). All other crops increased in export value. "This is probably the result of this boom in hydrangea acreage and the slight decrease in value of the dollar against the peso that we are seeing declining slowly since mid- 2016"

How to move on?
If this trend continues, the value of hydrangea exports will probably decrease even further. So, how should growers move on? According to Arango, Colombian hydrangea growers should start growing another crop or should look for new markets (Click here to see the current large export markets for Colombian hydrangeas). "When looking at the list of the biggest flower importers in the world, there are several big flower markets that have not been explored by Colombian hydrangea growers yet. They belong to the world's largest flower importers and their purchasing capacity (flower consumption) is really high. I would advise growers to focus on the large importers, but not the ones at the top (click here for the list). Markets with a lot of potential, are for example: Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Belarus, Czech Republic and Lithuania."

For more information: 

Flores Del Este 
Catalina Arango

Publication date: 5/9/2018
Author: Elita Vellekoop



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